Back in May I received an email I had always hoped to receive but deep down didn’t believe I would. My fourth attempt at Landscape Photographer of the Year finally yielded me a shortlisted image in the prestigious competition. I chose to keep the news to myself with the exception of some close friends and family as I didn’t want to get my hopes up. As with many competitions out of the images I entered it wasn’t the image I expected to get so far, that’s not to say it isn’t an image I like, otherwise I wouldn’t have entered it.
A few weeks ago Twitter was alive with photographers expressing their disappointed of receiving their ‘dear John’ emails. Their shortlisted image(s) had reached the end of the road in the competition. I checked my email (even making sure to check the spam folder!) and I hadn’t received a dear John! Had I gone further than the shortlisting stage? Unfortunately a few hours later the dreaded email arrived. So the Landscape Photographer of the Year journey for me is over again.
Obviously the initial blow hurt, but I remain proud to have made it so far. Especially as this was my fourth year of trying and on previous attempts I had not even made the short list. It hasn’t made me a better photographer, or made me any worse of a photographer for not getting any further. After all it is just a competition, and as discussed before, a different day, a different judge and potentially a different result. However it has fired my passion for the landscape again.
The image itself is below, I titled it ‘Autumn Cascade.’ It is a classic scene of Kennall Vale, not something that hasn’t been done before I guess, but what attracted me to the scene on this occasion was the wonderful hint of autumn colours in the background. This was a day time trip, just me and the camera between school drop-offs. Proof that not all landscape photography needs to be at the crack of dawn or sunset.